As the finale of the “You and Me” arc, Ch. 299 brings quite a few things to an end. Yozora succeeded in taking back the “28th” photo, and for the time being she retreated. Luca’s concert had a happy ending, even though Hayate and the Getter Robo made a shocking appearance for a split second. Nagi had her spirits back, and decided to sell her own doujinshi in the next Convention. We would therefore be ready for the start of a new arc in the next chapter, which happens to be Ch. 300.
The most important thing in the “You and Me” arc is of course the introduction of Luca. She was portrayed as an idol, a mangaka-in-the-making whose talents were questionable, an unlucky girl who had a huge debt, and to an unknown extent quite similar to Hayate. The Maizumi guy criticized her work, and Nagi defended her. She would therefore have a common enemy with Nagi, so they might become allies. Chiharu, on the other hand, suggested that Luca could become Nagi’s rival. What kind of relationship would they share is an interesting question.
The relationship between Hayate and Luca would also be an issue to follow. In the end Hayate left Luca without revealing his real sex and name, so Luca only “knew” Hayate by his false – or rather, alternate – identity. Would Hayate finally reveal his true identity, or would Luca ever find out the truth about “Maid Star”? We’ll see.
One thing to note is that Hayate knew the name of Luca, while she did not know his. Hayate did not know the name of Yozora, while she knew his. There would be so much more to understand between these two pairs…
Let’s come to Yozora then. She had been keeping an eye on Hayate for quite some time, though we still cannot pinpoint the exact time she started doing all these – The night when Hayate transported Tama to Violet Mansion was certainly not the first night, that’s all.
Apparently she knew quite a lot of things about Hayate and Nagi. She knew about Nagi’s interests (i.e. ACG and Hayate.), and in this chapter she told us that she knew Nagi destroyed the King’s Jewel. Only a handful of people knew that Nagi lost her inheritance because she destroyed the King’s Jewel, so we are left with two possible scenarios: Either an insider told Yozora about this, or that Yozora or her comrades (if any) had been spying on Hayate and Nagi for longer than we had imagined. In any case, there might be much more about Hayate and Nagi that Yozora already knew…
Of course, Yozora did much more than simply spying on Hayate and Nagi. She made direct contacts with them several times. She intended to get into the Violet Mansion by renting a room, but in the end she (perhaps intentionally) got herself kicked out by Nagi. She wanted to rob Hayate of the “28th photo”, which has something to do with “the secrets of that place” (Ch. 294) and the King’s Jewel (Ch. 299). According to her the most important part of the photo has been torn away, and of course she did not enlighten us what that part was about. For now I don’t think I can come to any satisfactory conclusion on the connection between “that place”, the King’s Jewel and the torn part of the photo, so I would give up guessing for now and wait for the answers.
It might be surprising that all Yozora cared about at the moment was the “28th photo”, and, judging by her attempts to tell her robot to retreat, she did not intend to cause Hayate any more trouble once he gave the photo to her. It is true that Yozora had a conflict of interests with Hayate and Nagi, but at the moment I don’t see her trying to cause them any harm – that is, if nobody came close to the secrets she was so keen to keep.
Hayate, when he was in his bedroom, questioned what “the person in the mask” was up to, but he showed no signs of recognizing that she was the one he met in the park and came to rent a room on the day after. Once again he showed that he could not recognize people when they were in masks. Cheer up, Silver Red. You are not the only one…
Yozora mentioned the King’s Jewel, and Hayate was reminded of the things happened in Athens. His thoughts inevitably came to Athena. This showed that, although he was quite convinced that Athena had already dumped him, he had not completely forgotten her. As such he became the second person who proved to us that he was still alert of the existence of Tennosu Athena.
Somewhere out there, Athena was also thinking about Hayate. In Ch. 266 she put the ring Hayate had given her on her right ring finger, and gave the empty ring box to Nagi. Many readers interpreted this scene as Athena’s declaration of war to Nagi: “You can have his body, but I have his heart.” For 3 weeks in the story and 7 months in real life we saw no actions from her, but her introduction at the end of this chapter might signify her long-waited return to Japan. What a traffic jam.
To me, the reappearance of Athena is much welcomed, because she still has much to deal with Hayate, Nagi, and Hina. If we are to believe that Hina and Athena were “friends” (In quotations because whether there was real friendship was questionable.) then we should have expected that they would meet again after the nickname brawl, but at the end of the Athena saga they did not. Athena reunited with Hayate, and met Nagi for the first time, but she never met Hina. She did not know that Hina also loved Hayate, and she did not know that Hina was there to help rescuing her. Athena and Hina, at the very least, needed to talk, and for that purpose Athena must return to Japan.
Besides, Hina deserves the truth. Let’s face it, Athena did not give up on Hayate, and Hayate did not really cease thinking about her. The “she-dumped-me” Hayate had told Hina was in fact incorrect, even if it might be his honest belief. If we appreciate the fact that Hina was perhaps the only one who was told “she-dumped-me” by Hayate himself, she would be in more need than most of the cast to have her impression rectified. The return of Athena, and her behaviour around Hayate, would tell Hina what exactly she, and Hayate himself, had misunderstood: Athena did not give up on Hayate.
Of course, this might turn out to be my own little wishful thinking. Athena’s reappearance might have nothing to do with Hina after all, but we’ll see. If we appreciate the fact that Hina might be one of the very few “friends” Athena ever had, a reunion, and a talk, between Athena and Hina should be a must.
Finally we arrive at Ch. 300, and along with the announcement of the results of the Character Poll, we would come to new developments of the story. Let’s look forward to the next chapter!